Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Redux

I have this weird, recurring dream. It isn't exactly a nightmare, but it's not great, either. I end up having to repeat the tenth grade for some reason, because there's some error on my transcripts, and it turns out that I didn't actually graduate properly from high school. So, in the dream, I get sent back to tenth grade, and I have to do gym class again. I spend most of the dream arguing with counselors, trying to get out of doing gym, which is basically what I spent most of grade ten doing anyways. It's very nostalgic. I often have this dream when I'm stressed out, especially when I'm waiting to hear important news.

For me, gym class represented everything that was the worst about high school. Enforced 'fun.' Gender segregation. Teachers yelling at you to kick the ball harder, do one more situp, etc., and then making you feel like crap in front of everyone when you couldn't. Guys posturing, preening in the locker room, trading homophobic and misogynist taunts, and searching for any point of weakness to exploit. I wonder if even the jocks felt like shit during gym class. Maybe they always felt like they were under observation, that they couldn't perform well enough, that they weren't man enough. I've always wondered that.

I actually don't mind going to the gym nowadays, although part of that has to do with this imaginary feeling that I'm somehow an 'adult' now, that nobody's going to call me a fag because I don't know how to use the elliptical machine. There's this thin social veneer that kind of settles over everything, and yet, watching everyone else working out, you start to wonder: what was gym class like for them? How many queer folks and formerly-fat kids and outcasts are here right now, doing the same thing that I'm doing? Wouldn't it be cool if everyone could just go out for drinks with each other and swap horror stories? This is why it's my firm belief that gyms should be attached to bars. It's probably also why I'm out of shape. :)

2 comments:

Oblio said...

High school gym class was my personal hell. Growing up in a small town, just about everyone was on some sort of sports team so the few of us that weren't were lumped into this horrible "PE for dorks" class. It was a little better since we didn't have to actually play football with the jocks but in the end we did have to all shower together and that was pretty traumatizing. It took me years to actually get to the point where I liked the gym and I still can't shower there. Some small part of me is still expecting to be snapped with a towel or called a name or beat up. There isn't enough money in the world to get me to go through high school or junior high again!

Jes Battis said...

I want to be a member of the PE For Dorks Squad. :)